tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC October 25, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
these are all real and we know that they are happening all across the country. that's why i'm in tennessee tonight and be in florida on the weekend. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. return of the clown car. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. warning, ladies and gentlemen, he especially ladies. we've got one republican senate candidate saying women can't be trusted to know what a rape is. along comes another saying something about god's will and we have to incarcerate a woman who doesn't want to have a child that's the result of a rape. well, yes, we're back in the clown car with lots more guys wearing the crazy hats and
shaking their noisemakers. thought you had seen the last of rick santorum and the rest of those characters from the primaries? not so. we have paul ryan and his personhood amendment aboard. a republican platform giving 14th amendment rights, including the right to property, to a fertilized human egg. who cares about the woman. nine days to go and none of the right wing men are getting off. but the big question is how many women want to stay aboard this clown car for the next four or years and how funny will it be when these characters are actually in charge? our guests are alex wagner, star of msnbc's "now" each day at noon eastern, and terry o'neill, president of the national organization for women. thank you for joining us. i want to go through some things to set this up. president obama is keeping the pressure on, as you can see in the last days of the campaign, and linking mitt romney to richard mourdock -- that's the guy from -- what's that state, wisconsin, indiana -- on jay leno last night. let's listen to the president. >> i don't know how these guys come up with these ideas. let me make a very simple proposition. rape is rape. it is a crime. the second thing that's
underscored, though, is this is exactly why you don't want a bunch of politicians, mostly male, making decisions about women's health care decisions. >> well, that went over pretty well out there. that's a nonpartisan crowd generally. the president went further pointing out the next president's influence over the supreme court is going to be enormous. we have a lot of older justices. let's listen. >> you've got a supreme court that, you know, typically a president is going to have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term, and roe versus wade is probably hanging in the balance. >> today at a rally in tampa, florida, the president alluded to mourdock when he laid out the stakes for women in this election. let's listen here. >> by the way, while we're at it, as we saw again this week, i don't think any politician in washington, most of whom are male, should be making health care decisions for women.
>> terry o'neill, i want to go with you first. we have a person who is an expert on this topic. thanks for coming on for the national organization for women. it is for women. >> it is for women. >> not just of women, but it is for women. let's all talk about the cause. you get a guy like todd akin come along and said that rape is not really rape because you can't trust a woman. why would a woman claim rape? why would you do this anyway? number two, because only unless you outlaw abortion except in case of rape would it ever come up. only in his crazy world would it even be an issue. this other guy coming along and trying to make this weird notion about the right to life. under the law it's not a philosophical or religious discussion, he wants to make it a law that women can't have an abortion. >> right. >> can't have one. change the law if there's a rape case. >> absolutely. he wants no abortions, no exceptions. no exceptions in cases of incest, rape, or to protect a
woman's health. over 80% of people when polled say that -- first of all, a majority believe that abortion should not be a crime at all. but those that think there should be restrictions, over 80% say, no, the restrictions should not be there in cases of incest or rape or to preserve a woman's health, let alone to preserve her life. >> can you imagine under this -- alex, general question -- a world without sharia law where you take a woman who has been raped, the victim of what has been in the past a capital crime, certainly a huge felony, 20 to 30 years in prison perhaps, and then she's told, oh, by the way, if you have an abortion, you choose to end the pregnancy the first couple days, you will go to jail. you put it all together with the
14th amendment stuff and the personhood stuff, that's the implication. >> it's part of a broader trend. we've talked about the shame and intimidation that's being directed towards women who are making choices about their own bodies. the thing that's most disturbing to me about this rape talk is somehow it's sort of undermined the severity and the criminality of rape. and that is inexcusable. >> how so? >> it's sort of being tossed around as a weird litmus test, and we're not understanding women who are raped are victims, and the idea that this is all being conflated into a choice issue is missing -- >> it's like somebody jumped ahead of you in the cab line. >> exactly. like -- >> a little rough -- >> i think the president is right to be calling attention to this, but i don't think it's right for him to say and that's why we shouldn't have men legislating on women's issues. men shouldn't be saying this stuff either.
no one should be saying this. this shouldn't be acceptable to anybody on either side of the aisle. >> i think the important -- sexual assault victims need wrap-around services, lots of wrap-around services. what they don't need is the shaming and the blaming and the undermining, the attitude -- paul ryan clearly has an attitude, when he tries to change -- introduce forcible rape as somehow different from rape, what he's really saying is that women will routinely lie about being sexual assaulted just so they can go out and have that abortion. >> where is this that it's happened? that's what is so weird about it. in other words, they're talking about a more common case where someone would just for whatever reason blame rape because they have some weird attitudes because to blame rape you're charging in a police report, you have got to go in, get a physical, you have to go through the rape kits, you've got to charge somebody with a felony and a lineup perhaps, you have to take them to court, you got to follow the whole prosecution for maybe a couple years. why would anybody do that? >> not willingly, and the vast majority of rapes to this day are not -- >> you only do it as your civic duty for justice. >> and the vast majority of rapes are not prosecuted. >> because women choose not to do all that. >> because the system is retraumatizing women in far too many cases. 32,000 pregnancies per year result from rape. those are the pregnancies where the woman most needs to have absolute control over what happens to that pregnancy.
there are women who voluntarily continue their -- >> maybe this is good in a weird way because it's going to remind everybody what the president said on jay leno there. there is an election coming up. it's not just about who performed well in the first debate or the third debate. it's about who is going to fill the supreme court in the next four or eight years. the obama campaign has a new web video out that extends the romney mourdock link to paul ryan. before he joined the ticket, his position lines up with murdoch. look at this research. >> even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> when it comes to rape, should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she's -- >> i'm very proud of my pro-life record, and i have also adopted
the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn't change the definition of life. >> and the liberal group moveon.org will not let the mourdock collection be forgotten. look at that sign over there. you can't see it from here, but there's a banner -- i love these airplane signs, romney's gop, wrong on rape and women. terry, this -- i don't know where to start except i don't like comparing anything to sharia, but there's something about this theocratic notion that we're going to apply all our religious training and turn it into law and turn it into criminalization, and it's not quite like stoning, but it has that same sort of impulse, which is we're going to punish women. >> right. i don't think you're wrong. i think it's kind of the creeping talibanization of american policy. it is deeply, deeply dangerous for women, and i have to tell you the truth, i think mitt romney is in the thick of this very fringe but very dangerous line of thought. look, when he was in massachusetts, a woman in his
own church, he tried to stop her from having an abortion. her pregnancy was threatening her health, and then she developed blood clots that were threatening her life. he couldn't talk her into stopping the abortion. she had permission from the mormon hierarchy to terminate this life-threatening pregnancy. he went to her parents. what he said to this woman, and this is key, cameras not rolling, and what mitt romney says to this woman, why should you get off easy? why should you get off easy? other women don't get off so easy. talking about getting off easy to terminate the pregnancy. i think mitt romney absolutely does not want any exceptions to criminalization of all abortion. >> what is this, "the stepford wives"? >> it's the stone age. chris, it's the stone ages. it's not clown car. clown cars imply automated vehicles. this is like "the flintstones." i will say two things. one, i think it's high time we
talk about these issues as far as what they are. the president has been trying to sort of conflate a message of pocketbook and economic issues and social issues. these -- i think women vote on this. i think women vote on the notion you're going to turn the clock back not 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, 100 years. i think women will vote on that. i'm not talking about independents -- >> they have to vote this time. you don't get to vote on the justices. how can they put these crazy people on the court? how can these state legislatures pass photo voto. that's what happens when you lose elections. >> you can run on this message. you can show america where romney and ryan have stood on these issues for years, and you can get waitress moms on this, soccer moms, you can get all kinds of moms. >> let's talk about the women running for office. a lot of favorites in the group. i'm not going to name them all. it's clear i like claire mccaskill.
she's up against that guy, todd akin. >> she needs to defeat todd akin. joe donnelly needs to defeat mourdock. >> notre dame guy, by the way, means something to me. you have elizabeth warren, looks like she's pulling ahead in massachusetts. >> we've endorsed chris murphy in connecticut. >> there's the president voting tonight. there he is. i like the way we do this in this country, the guys vote, the women vote at the top and michelle voted by absentee a while ago, but it's democracy. we can all do this. we all should do this, vote. he's probably voting -- where is he voting? >> in chicago. early voting. right. the early voting numbers have been very good for the
president. >> i just got my application in. let's talk about this issue. you think -- see, i believe as a male, and i have studied this, women have a lot of issues they care about, not just reproductive rights, but health generally. you people outlive men, you people, any senior retirement home, one or two guys. very funny and everybody likes them, but there's only one or two. a lot of women. guys say with any luck i won't need social security. your luck probably will run out. women live longer than men. they need medicare and social security. you will be worried about your parents because women tend to be more attentive to the parent situation. >> the caretaker. >> and children. there's child development, seniors care. all that array of issues that you could call if you want women's issues. >> and very much at risk with the romney/ryan presidency. the romney/ryan budget -- the big picture of it is it transfers wealth from middle income and lower income families to the 0.01% of income earners, the millionaires and
billionaires, and women are not overrepresented amongst billionaires. women wage earners are way overrepresented in the lower -- >> and minimum wage. >> they don't have 401(k)s, pensions. two-thirds of minimum wage workers in the united states are women, and -- so they're paying out of pocket as they go along, they don't have enough money to set aside for their retirement. they are very reliant on social security and certainly medicare. they don't have $6,000 a year extra that it will cost if romney and ryan get their hands on medicare. and by the way, if romney and ryan get their hands on medicaid, half of medicaid dollars go to support nursing homes in this country. thousands of -- >> and a lot of people impoverished themselves to get their parents into these homes. there's no long-term care under medicare, only medicaid. why are you smiling? >> mitt romney doesn't know where he stands on the lilly ledbetter act on fair pay. >> i'll get back to you on that one.
alex wagner, thank you. for laughing at just the right time. and terry o'neill. the surge, what surge? we said it yesterday, romney gained after the first debate, but the idea of a relentless romney surge isn't supported by the numbers. we have the numbers to prove it. and here comes the cavalry. bubba is riding in to save the day. he already has colin powell today endorsing him on cbs. he's getting some help. colin powell is afraid of the guys who will come in with mitt romney, the kind of guys on that bush policy team. and then tina fey takes on the akin/mourdock wing of the party. let's watch. >> if i have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, i'm going to lose my mind. >> more where that comes from in the "sideshow." finally, let me finish with something that happened 50 years ago and what could happen five
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president up six in wisconsin, 51%,/45%. in ohio ppp has the president up by two, 49%/47%. that was iowa. and in nevada a new ppp poll shows president obama up four who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer. tomato, obviously. haha. there's more than that though, there's a kick to it. there's a pop. wahlalalalallala! pepper, but not pepper, i'm getting like, pep-pepper. it's kind of like drinking a food that's a drink, or a drink that's a food, zip zip zip zip zip! i'm literally getting zinged by the flavor. smooth, but crisp. velvety. kind of makes me feel like a dah zing yah woooooh!
welcome back to "hardball." don't take that bet on romney's surge to the bank just yet. it seems president obama has stopped the governor's momentum in the numbers and the two candidates have settled into a tie in national polls but the president tied or slightly ahead in most swing states. not only in most polls beginning to look a bit better for mr. obama, he has the support of two of america's most beloved politicians. bill clinton will campaign with the president starting monday in three key states, virginia, ohio, and florida. and this morning on cbs former -- well, everybody thought he would be president, republican former secretary of state colin powell is sticking with obama. >> i voted for him in 2008, and i plan to stick with him in 2012, and i'll be voting for he and for vice president joe biden next month. i think this is an exciting race between two very, very capable
men, and i signed on for a long patrol with president obama, and i don't think this is the time to make such a sudden change, and not only am i not comfortable with what governor romney is proposing for his economic plan, i have concerns about his views on foreign policy. >> so who would you rather have on your side, my friend, michael, bill clinton and general colin powell, one of our few real heros in the world right now, or donald trump and john sununu? >> do you want to pass on that one? >> john sununu wants to be ambassador of the vatican in the worst way. i think that's what he's up to. trump and sununu as your most famous surrogates. >> they're good surrogates, and the president needs them because as this campaign has already shown itself, it's going to be close and going to be tight. so, yeah, i guess he's -- >> you take those two guys. >> that was good, wasn't it? >> i'll take those two. >> no. >> did you see how he slipped
out of your grasp? >> he will go that far. he goes as far as trump. >> it says something about the candidates and the campaigns that the president has these two great americans out with him and mitt romney -- >> he needs them. he needs them because he's losing. >> i'm waiting to see if mitt -- >> let's go with the numbers. you got that shot in there. i'm open to any possibility when it comes to elections, i'd rather pick them right -- i still like my guys to win. the poll takers have started to change their tune. nate silver wrote a piece, headlines in polls as romney's momentum seems to have stopped. he's got the odds of president obama's re-election at 71%, by the way, nate silver. "the huffington post," their pollster page, has a story that's called presidential polls counter romney's surge myth. if you look at the pollster trend, shows the presidential race since august, you can see the president really started gaining ground in september, that was after the conventions, only to drop shortly after mitt romney surged after the first debate. now they're back to neck and neck. how long is the life span of a successful or unsuccessful debate?
>> a bump is usually about ten day approximately. >> and then it fades, back to where they started. >> this race is basically where it started a year ago or two years ago. >> i'm talking about is it back to where it was with obama ahead? >> i think it is, yeah. >> i think it's back where the two of them are more even than one being ahead of the other. i see an arc between that first debate and the last debate in that obama really hurt himself in that first debate, and it's still -- there's still residual effect from that, and i think you're seeing that in the numbers. i agree with you, chris, and i agree with nate that the tide has slowed a little bit for romney at this point, that energy, that momentum has slowed, and it goes to what chuck todd said a few days ago whether or not the map and the momentum, obama's map, romney's momentum, comes to a point. >> let's look at the president on leno. apparently a very good hit on leno. he made a humorous appeal to ohio voters. talk about politics and entertainment mixing. let's watch.
>> i know last year michelle gave out fruit. did the white house get egged at all? >> no. it is true michelle takes this healthy eating seriously, but it is an election year so candy for everybody. especially -- and if anybody comes from ohio to the white house, they will get a hershey bar about this big. >> wow. >> it will be huge. >> you know, i don't know how to read people generally. i'm not a mind reader, but he does seem like he's got it in a sense. not got it, but he's not sitting around sweating this thing. >> you can see why he's happy. there was a new ohio poll today that has the president up five. a poll from colorado, a local television station has the president up two in colorado. >> i saw another one that puts them even. >> well, there's going to be a poll that comes out tomorrow,
the 12 purple states including colorado, virginia, and ohio, and the president is going to be i think ahead in all of those battlegrounds in the 12 purple states. that's a shift, by the way, from where gallup had it just a few days ago where they had mitt romney ahead by two in the purple states. so this thing is -- >> let's try something else. whenever i used to be good before i was doing television six days a week. you can pick an election by the thursday before. >> that's right. >> all you had to do was thursday before, when "the washington post" asked for your picks, you had to project which way it's going. is that still true today? >> yes. >> no. here is why. there's been so much money invested in field this year, much more so than ever before
because back in the day it used to be you had $75 million. now these campaigns have a billion dollars each to put -- >> how many points can you shift on a ground operation? >> i think you can shift two. >> i agree with that, but i think to your point doing it the old school way i really think by that weekend, that thursday/friday you're going to have a really good sense of how this thing is going to play out on tuesday because i think the voters have largely settled. the early voting returns are coming in. all these variables you'll be able to devine from that. >> we will. >> we're waiting for "the black swan," the surprising event of next week. i think there's going to be one. >> the president's cool on tv. his people in chicago, they're still a bit nervous. they see where these numbers could potentially still go. >> could be a late night. thank you, steve and michael. by the way, we decide the president is back even again. up next, president obama brushes off donald trump's latest attempt to be relevant on this earth i should say. anyway, this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ male announcer ] every day, thousands of people
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he's like me and letterman. what does he got against you here? i don't get it. >> you know, this all dates back to when we were growing up together in kenya. >> yeah. >> we had constant run-ins on the soccer field, and, you know, he wasn't very good and resented it. >> great line. back to "hardball." that was more of president obama on "the tonight show" yesterday weighing in on donald's attempt at political relevance. moving on, actress tina fey spoke at an event for reproductive rights last night. she says her intelligence is at risk with all this todd akin and the republican party. >> if i have to listen to one more gray-faced man with a $2 haircut explain to me what rape is, i'm going to lose my mind. i watch these guys and i'm like, what is happening? am i a secretary on "mad men"? what's happening? todd akin claims that women can't really get pregnant from a
legitimate rape because the body secretes hormones -- i can't even finish this sentence without getting dumber. it was tough to miss the news about richard mourdock's comments. republicans everywhere were being asked about their opinion. >> he said that i think even when life begins in the horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended. is that something that you would denounce or -- >> i think i'd want to see his comments and -- is there a video of it? >> it was in a debate last night. >> i think i'd want to see the video or see the debate before commenting on that. >> that guy looks 10 years old. mandel seems to have finally seen the video and is just fine with it. today he came out in support of mourdock calling him a class act. turns out mandel is an old hand at failing to just answer the question.
check out his rising frustration last month as a local newspaper board asked whether mandel would have supported the auto bailout. >> was the federal government right in stepping in to bail out chrysler and gm? >> i think it probably depends on who you ask. >> i'm asking you as a candidate for the u.s. senate. >> sure. i am angry and feel terrible that politicians like sherrod brown and others supported a process that stripped hard-working retirees in the youngstown area of their pensions. >> that doesn't answer the question. let's get back to the question. >> i personally would have had a very real problem with stripping these delphi -- >> no. >> please, sir, don't put words in my mouth. the premise -- >> somebody has to put words in your mouth. all you do is talk in circles. >> unbelievable. it takes talking in circles to an even wider circle. up next -- how can anybody vote for that guy? coming up, colin powell endorsed president obama today and warned about the neocon crowd that
surrounds mitt romney. do we want to go back to the same people that took us to war in iraq? that's a good question, and you're going to get the answer here in a minute on "hardball," the place for politics. i realize that retirement benefits aren't exciting to most people, but i like to think that they're interesting to the people at my company. actually, they might not even be that interesting to them. but this is for them and their future. and that's why it's important. okay, i'm going to take that as a "thank you, you rock!" who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual has helped american businesses offer sound retirement plan solutions for generations.
hey there. here's what's happening. hurricane sandy is headed towards florida where it's expected to hit the state's coast. forecasters say it could head up the east coast causing heavy rain and possibly snow. the family of the girl who was shot by the taliban arrived in the uk earlier and were reunited with her. it's uncertain whether the cease fire will hold on friday. let's get you back to "hardball."
♪ welcome back to "hardball." when former secretary of state colin powell endorsed president obama this mornings, he cited mitt romney's foreign policy as a major concern. this monday we saw romney present himself as a moderate emphasizing peace and diplomacy. for the past year and a half, however, romney has courted the far rights and the neocons of his party with his hawkish rhetoric. secretary powell pointed out the obvious, it's not clear who we would get if romney was elected. powell praised president obama's handling of foreign policy over the last four years. let's listen. >> i also saw the president get us out of one war, start to get us out of a second war, and did not get us into any new wars, and, finally, i think that the actions he has taken with
respect to protecting us from terrorism have been very, very solid. and so i think we ought to keep on the track that we are on. >> well, later today the president acknowledged the endorsement by powell at a rally in richmond. let's watch. >> i was proud and humbled to learn that we have colin powell's support in this campaign. i'm grateful to him for his lifetime of service to his country, both as a soldier and as a diplomat, and every brave american who wears this uniform of this country should know that as long as i am your commander in chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known. >> secretary powell remains one of the most respected names in politics, of course, across party lines. will his endorsement matter? colonel lawrence wilkerson was secretary powell's chief of staff, and thomas ricks, author of "the generals." what do you make of your old boss' decision to get into this
thing right when it matters with 12 days to go? >> colin powell has always had an exquisite sense of timing, chris, and i won't pretend to speak for him, but i thought he was bold, i thought he was forthright, i thought he summed it up well. the president inherited a catastrophic situation, banks failing, automobile industry collapsing, housing market tubing, and he steadied the ship, he needs another term to do more. there's a lot to be done yet. unemployment is still too high, but he needs a second term to improve on the improvements he's already perfected. >> the great thing about fighting men historically is they do know the importance of peace. you find very few hawks among people who have been soldiers, anwar sadat, the great george washington. they have been through it, and they've proven their manhood, they just want to be wise. i think powell is like that. what do you think he was saying
about the neocons? >> i think he was saying -- >> i'm talking to tom ricks now. >> i think he was saying if you want to know where romney is going to be going with foreign policy, look to the people around him. what you see is a lot of people who are the neoconservatives who did advise going into iraq. so he's saying effectively if you like the war in iraq, romney is your guy. >> it just seems -- without being in any way comical about, because it's nothing to laugh about, people die in wars, there's always a war that the neocons are looking forward to. they're always pushing -- they never settle down and say let's take time out for a decade without a war, and now it's iran. we all know that neither party can go to war, but the way they go to war, what conditions they set and how they deal with the consequences are really critical, and it seems to me the president is more to be trusted for understanding the consequences, tom ricks. >> powell was kind of an
eisenhower republican. guess what? so is barack obama. eisenhower kept us out of vietnam. he explicitly said i don't want to fight wars -- >> kept us out of suez, too. >> libya was an eisenhower type operation. don't only -- >> the hidden hand. >> yeah. only do the things that the united states is uniquely available to provide. so provide things like intelligence that other countries can't, but don't put boots on the ground, don't put pilots in danger. >> well, colin powell said he has concerns about some of romney's views on foreign policy. let's listen to the general. >> one day he had a strong view about staying in afghanistan, but then on monday night he agrees to withdrawal. same thing on iraq. almost every issue that was discussed on monday night, governor romney agreed with the president with some nuances, but this is quite a different set of foreign policy views than he had earlier in the campaign, and my concern, which i have expressed previous in a public way is that sometimes i don't sense that he
has thought through the issues as thoroughly as he should have. >> are you concerned about the people that are advising governor romney? >> i think there's some very, very strong neoconservative views that are presented by the governor that i have some trouble with. >> colonel wilkerson, let's talk about that. secretary powell, when he looks back at the iraq war and his role in justifying it before the united nations, what do you think he's thinking right now? >> well, powell and i have seen these people before, the john boltons, the donald rumsfeld and dick cheney, and seen them with an inexperienced president, and we have seen what they can do, lead the nation to a war that was unnecessary, as richard hoss characterized it. i'm very worried as i think powell was saying, and i'll say it even more candidly and frankly than he did. i'm very worried about these people with the new, that's what it is, inexperienced, fresh president, and their experience at bureaucratic inplay and so
forth and leading this president down to war most likely with iran. and that's why i'm going to vote -- i'm a republican just like powell, and i was looking for a good, solid republican candidate so i could vote for him. i will not vote for romney. i'm voting for obama. >> i watched romney the other night in that debate, the third one on foreign policy, and i heard strange words coming out of his mouth. he's a business guy, obviously he's a successful businessman, made a quarter billion dollars. he doesn't have any interest in the world, never shown any interest in the world beyond that. my question, where did he get that thing about how we're going to charge ahmadinejad, the president of iran, with genocide for the words he's spoken, not what he's done, but the words he's spoken about israel? that would seem to be a deal breaker. you start charging with guy with genocide, you're not going to cut a deal with the guy. do they want war with iran? just period, do they want war with iran no matter what iran does henceforth, colonel? the neocons? >> i think the question you ask has to be answered yes. there are gradations between the different neocons, but i think
ultimately they want to paint the president, whoever it is, into a corner to say all options are on the table, including the military option, and then milk out all the other options, no diplomacy, no solution, and then have to use the military. i can see it, it's the same sheet of music, the same sheet of music. >> i know. they didn't tell saddam he had a way out. tom ricks, thank you for joining us. the name of your book is -- >> "the generals." >> good luck with that. up next, caroline kennedy is coming here. she joins us next on "hardball." she's hitting the campaign trail for president obama, and this is "hardball," the place for politics. we're not in london, are we? no. why? apparently my debit card is. what? i know. don't worry, we have cancelled your old card. great. thank you. in addition to us monitoring your accounts for unusual activity, you could also set up free account alerts. okay. [ female announcer ] at wells fargo we're working around the clock to help protect your money and financial information.
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we're back. 50 years ago this month, in fact, right now the nation was locked 50 years ago in the 13-day crisis known as the cuban missile crisis. it involved the possible nuclear war between us and the soviet union, and one guy got us out of it, john f. kennedy. his secret oval office recordings of that detailing the pivotal moments are now available in the book "listening in, the secret white house recordings of john f. kennedy." his daughter, caroline, wrote the introduction.
i was always told my father installed secret oval office recording devices after the bay of pigs disaster so he could have an accurate account of who said what in case of any later disputes as to the exact nature of the conversations. he intended to draw upon this material in his own memoirs. we me is president john f. kennedy's daughter, carolyn. we're out here explaining this book and its importance. why do you think it's important 50 years later that we know what happened? >> i think we can learn so much from the past. you know, studying this crisis is really an exercise in studying leadership and decisionmaking, and right now we're really close to another presidential election, and i think when you get inside a crisis like this and you understand the kind of complexity of these issues, first of all, it makes the world we're living in right now more interesting, but it also i think really can help people as they approach, you know, smaller crises obviously, but it's just fascinating because you really see how complicated these questions are and how dangerous that it can be.
>> i think what came through in working on a book on this subject, i thought president kennedy's great advantage was the coolness to slow down and >> right. >> anybody can say, we'll show those reds. but if we had done that -- >> right. i think he said later that if he had only had two days he would have made the wrong decision. so it just shows how important to work through these decisions, and i think he deserves a lot of credit for always having people around him who presented a range of options, and he had the confidence to, you know, to disagree with generals, to disagree with people -- >> how about curtis lemay as your chief adviser, the dr. strangelove. this guy's saying bombs away. >> bombs away, absolutely. >> here's a guy you or i would say would be a smart guy to listen to and he was wrong. here se he is checking in on the phone with president eisenhower about what he should do with khrushchev, the soviet leader in terms of what would happen if he did invade cuba, what would be the reaction by the soviet
leader? here's ike's conversation. fascinating history here. let's listen. >> what about if the soviet union khrushchev announces tomorrow which i think he will that if he attack cuba it's going to be a nuclear war? and what's your judgment as to the chances they'll fire these things off if we invade cuba? >> oh, i don't think they will. >> you don't think they will. in other words, you would take that risk if the situation -- >> as a matter of fact, what can you do? if this thing is such a serious thing, here on our flank, that we're going do to be uneasy, ane know what thing is happening now, all right, you have to do something. something may make these people shoot them off. i just don't believe this will. >> wow. there's the general. the great general won world war ii in europe saying don't worry about the soviets, if we bomb their missile sites, kill a bunch of russians and cubans, don't worry, they won't do anything. that's ike.
it's a little out of date. we later learned khrushchev intended to strike new york if the united states invaded cuba. khrushchev wrote, quote, i knew the united states could knock out some of our installations but not all of them. if a quarter, a tenth of our missiles survived, two big ones were left, we could still hit new york. those are khrushchev's own words. president kennedy was thinking, what would i do if i were him? thinking it through that he had his own hawks around him. >> that's what people really give so much credit to the resolution of this crisis is that he really thought about it all the time from both sides and how can khrushchev save face and what can i offer him to make this deal attractive to him? these crises are so complicated and now there are etven more actors. >> let's talk about now. what are you doing the next couple weeks? >> i'm going to campaign for president obama. >> where are you going? >> virginia, new hampshire. >> what's your pitch?
>> my pitch is he's done a great job, he's a man of courage and conviction and judgment. if you're talking about judgment and how important if to have a cool head in the crisis, know what their gut values are, how they're going to make decisions, has done a good job, great job in keeping us out of war and building our economy back up and certainly is on the side of women and women's health. he absolutely is is the right -- >> you're with him on all these points. just across the street here is american university where president kennedy gave the great peace speech which was so sa successful it brought the soviets to the table. let's take a look at the bit of that speech. it's the theme you're carrying on here. here's president kennedy speaking on peace at the famous, i think it's his best speech, the american university commencement address across the street here. let's watch. >> our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. we all breathe the same air. we all cherish our children's
futures. and we are all mortal. >> there it is. that was so successful that khrushchev played that all over the soviet union, everybody heard it then they had the treaty afterwards. it worked. >> absolutely. i think it's to see we have more in common than divides us and that's something we don't hear enough of. >> what do you think of romney? can you figure him out? >> no. >> is he the hawk he has all these people around him that got us into iraq? >> well, you know, i think we need to stick with somebody who's told us where they stand, and that's president obama. and i think most people really admire him and understand where he's coming from and i think he's put, now, forth the plan. so i think there's really -- >> you don't like this hardball thing, do you? >> here, we all cherish our children's future. we're all mortal. we're trying to look for the good in everyone. but i see more good in president obama. >> well said. anyway, thank you. not how i do business, but the book's call "listening in."
thank you, caroline kennedy for coming on "hardball." we'll be right back. and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. it put me at ease that you could smoke on the first week. [ male announcer ] some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you develop these stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. if you have a history of heart or blood vessel problems, tell your doctor if you have new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack. use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. with chantix and with the support system it worked. it worked for me. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor if chantix is right for you.
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the united states tried to knock them out. a frightening time. the only good news, world-saving news is we had leaders determined not to let the frightening situation in cuba escalate into a nuclear world war. jack kennedy knew how things worked in the world, from his reading of history that one step leads to another. one country takes one step it thinks it must take, the other country takes the next step and suddenly they're at war. he knew something elsere readirea reading country. we, the good guys, used atomic weapons to end world war ii in the pacific. kennedy dealt with not just the missiles in cuba but what could happen if we acted to remove them. what would the russians do, what would we do then, what would we be trapped into doing? because he thought it out, he knew his history, he was not an ideologue, jack kennedy got us through. think about which of the candidates you trust to consider the consequences of what he does. it's the consequences we have to live through orot live through. one thing for sure, if romney wins he brings those crowds around w.,